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A Little Piece Of Me Died That Day With My Mom

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It has almost been nine months since I lost my mom. She passed away on January 23, 2010. I was 28 and she was 51 when she passed. My mom battled a long illness for 18 years, and finally her body couldn't fight anymore. I selfishly still want her here, but I am thankful that she is no longer suffering. She led a somewhat normal life up until the last 4 years and unfortunately her health started to slowly deteriorate.

She ended up having a stroke during the last 5 months of her life, due to Tuberculosis of the brain, which left her unable to speak or walk. This was very tough to watch. I felt so helpless. Not being able to communicate with my mom in her last days was horrible. Imagine not being able to have a conversation with your loved one while they were in their final months/days/hours. She would try and talk to us, but her words were scrambled. So we tried to see if she could write notes to us, but the stroke left her unable to write as well. We also brought a laptop in to see if maybe she could type us a message one handed (since the stroke left her unable to use right side) but she was unable to do this as well. We were desperate to help her. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle like this......devastating.

My mom was such a strong, independent woman. I am sure this really destroyed her. It angers me to this day that she had to endure such struggles like that. It just wasn't fair. Why did her life have to end this way? Why? These are questions that obviously will never and can never be answered. And I suppose am fine with that. But I will forever hold resentment in my heart because of it. She didn't deserve to die like that. Unable to get up and go to the bathroom, unable to speak, unable to do eat without being fed. Just horrible!

After being in the hospital for 5 months, and then shuffled between care centers for about 2 months my mom came home and hospice came in to help. I remember getting the phone call early Thursday morning from my step-dad notifying me that my mom had about 72 hours left. Those are words that I will never ever forget. How could my mom’s life suddenly be given a time limit? It truly took my breath away. All of my mom’s children, step-children and close family went up to my parents house to be with her. Hospice was wonderful to my mom in her last days, so caring and nurturing to her needs. My mom passed away at her home early Saturday morning (48 hours from the call) with all of her family there with her. We were asleep when she passed away around 5am. I will never forget that day. Even though I was surrounded by my closest family, I have never felt so alone. I truly feel like a piece of me died with her that day. I have not been the same since. I have my good days and I have my bad days. Losing a parent at any age is hard, but losing my mom at the age of 28 really shattered me. To know that she would not be able to be at my wedding one day, or meet my future children one day breaks my heart.

Thankfully my brother and I are super close, so we lean on each other for support. He seems to be having a bit more of a tough time than myself, so I try to stay strong for him. But sometimes the pain of losing her takes over my being. My mom was my best friend in the whole world, so losing her has been life changing. Sometimes I get angry about her not being here. There is no one to blame for her not being here. I know that it is something that I need to accept, but it has been tough. I miss her more than words can express. The only thing that I can hope for is that hopefully I will be with her again one day.

The day that my mom had passed my step dad found her journals. And inside of one of her journals she had written a letter to him, and in that letter she told my step-dad what songs she wanted played at her funeral. This was all so surreal. It was almost like she sensed that she was leaving us soon. She didn't have access to her journal for more than 7 months because she was in the hospital. The letter was not dated so we have no idea when it was written. The most interesting part of this letter, was that my mom wrote that she believed a brain infection would end up killing her........and that is exactly what ended up happening. We couldn't believe what we were reading. My mom was a Nurse, so she was very proficient with this kind of stuff, but we were still dumbfounded about what we had read.

When she left us, my step-dad was so lost, so devastated. A few weeks after my mom had passed away, my step-dad found a note that my mom had wrote to him. He had picked up a framed wedding picture of theirs, and the back fell off. Behind the picture was a note to my step-dad. So he began looking on the back of all of their framed pictures, and she had left notes on all of them! We have no idea when she did this. I am so thankful that she wrote those letters. My step-dad needed them. They were best friends and were married for 20 years. These letters were a blessing, and in essence, final dialogue to a chapter that was left somewhat open.

I know in time I will accept her death, but for right now, I am not ready to let go.

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Hi Kim,

I am sorry for your loss ( I know those are idiotic words to hear and they do not seem to help ). I know your situation all too well. I am way older than you (50) and lost both of my parents, my mother 3 years ago at age 67 and my father last year at 73. My mom had various cancers since I was 4, so I know the long term illness. When you are close to a parent it's just as bad as losing a spouse to be honest. You hope with each passing day the pain will ease up a bit. I was unusually close to both of them. But, you seem to have a great support team with your brother and step father. They will help hold the honor of her memory and one day I hope we will all meet them again when it is our time to leave.

I'm sending some hugs to you


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What a wonderful loving perceptive woman she was. You said a piece of you died with her that day? I would say the opposite. Based on what you say about your mom. She would have thought At least a little piece of me survived that final day. Her daughter and son and her people that loved her. Never let go of her memories. She will always live if you remember the lessons and words she left you. Linda Kay

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Hello Kim,

It is indeed a trying time for you, as well as it is for all of us here. My Mom died a little over a month ago, and I am now just getting hit with all the myriad of different emotions to it. I am so sorry you couldn't effectively communicate with your Mom during her final days with you. As intuitive as she was, rest assured Kim, she knew of your love for her. Your Mom sounds to me that she was a remarkable woman. I feel the same pride and absolute love in you when you write of her that I have for my Mom. My mother was also a strong, vibrant, and independent woman who also was intuitive of her impending illness. She would say it is because she is Scottish. In my conversations with her before her illness, I sensed that she knew of something finite when I would discuss future events. She started to give things away to friends, and even to my now ex-girlfriend that she wouldn't have before. Her death also came upon us all fast. We were given the estimate 3-4 months, yet she died in just over a month after her diagnosis with cancer. It is hard to wrap my mind around it still. It was such a shock to all of us. It was wonderful to read what your Mom did with all the framed pictures. That was a tangible thing for your step-dad to have to still be spiritually connected with her. Whatever you have now, I am sure, would be just as tangible. Those are important. I have my Mom's watch that I gave her for mother's day on a chain next to the cross she gave to me when I went to Europe. This is not an event to 'let go' of her. Nobody would. You don't have to because a part of her still lives on within you. That didn't 'die' with her, as you say. However, as hard as it may sound, it must be accepted. My Mom's death left a vast hole in my life, as I am sure it has for you. I just don't know how to deal with it at this point, but I suppose time will tell in measure. It is also 'normal' to feel bad that she won't be there for the major events in your life. Who is to say that she will not anyway? I am hopeful that My Mom will be there when on my wedding day, or when my children would be born. It is a process. Take Care, and God Bless.

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Thank you for your kind words. I am very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I used to be afraid of dying, but after my mom passed away, I am not afraid anymore, because I know I will be with her again. I am sure you may feel the same way. Do you ever sense that she is around? I have had dreams about my mom, but that is about it. I am hoping one day she will come visit me (without scaring the heck out of me) :-)

I know that spiritually she will still be able to be a part of my life, and I am thankful for that. I will always miss her presence. Knowing that she is physically gone for the rest of my life is such a bummer. We would talk on the phone everyday, sometimes twice a day. So once she had her stroke, that communication stopped, and that was tough. Thankfully she was staying at a hospital that was near my home. I visited her everyday after work. I honestly can't imagine if I lived out of state away from her when all of this was happening. I am very thankful for the time that I was able to spend with her in her last months.

Thanks again for responding.


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I, too, use to be so afraid of dying. But ever since my mom died, I am ok with it. I want to be near her again and my faith says I will. I still fear the "letting go" of dying, i think i will fight that but i am not afraid of "being dead" anymore. Strange how things change.

My prayers to all of you.

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